tv [untitled] March 6, 2011 9:00pm-9:30pm PST
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>> welcome. we are here doing our building san francisco tour. we're going to have a very interesting tour of elevators in sanford cisco. we have all gotten into an elevator, the doors have closed, and it has carried us to our destination. have you ever wondered how elevators were -- work? we check out the need outside the elevator using current technology and we learn about the latest destination elevated technology all here in san francisco. we will also visit the machinery where all the behind- the-scenes gears control these incredible machines. we are very fortunate today to have an expert with those who is going to walk us are around elevators in san francisco. can you tell us about the
history of elevators in san francisco? the measure -- >> sure. the history of elevator technology evolves with the city. first elevators were installed for moving materials in the 1860's. in the 1870's, the first passenger elevator was installed, and that allowed building heights to go up to about seven floors. starting in the 18 eighties, 1890's, the first electric elevators were installed. that allowed for buildings to go up even higher, even more than 10 floors, and those were the first elevators that became representative of what we consider modern elevators today. >> so the height of buildings is related to elevator technology. >> both of these technologies encourage architects to build taller buildings. engineering and materials science provided a higher
quality of steel to build with, and having passenger elevators meant it was the necessary anymore to climb a long flight of stairs to get to the top of the building. the elevator made the upper floors of the building more attractive than they were before. >> here we were at the historic st. francis hotel, which was actually a representation of the evolution of elevators. can you tell us more about san francisco history here at the st. francis? >> sure. st. francis demonstrates well the evolution of elevated technology. and substantially damaged the 1906 earthquake and rebuilt in 1907 or 1908, and extend it again in 1913. then a new tower was added in 1932, so there is all sorts of elevator technology you can see at the st. francis that very much represents the building history of san francisco. >> i understand there is a really old elevator still
operating here. >> that is right, the elevator installed in the 1913 expansion. we can go look at that. >> let's go take a look. here we are in a spectacular st. francis lobby. here is the clock. when people say "meet me at the clock in the st. francis." let's look at that elevator. >> ok, let's do it. >> here we are in the elevator installed as part of the expansion, and this is the way it was originally installed about 100 years ago. it has a manual switch just like elevators did back then, and it
runs on dc power. this was from a time before elevators ran on ac power. >> when did they switch? >> decided to switch in the 1920's, so this elevator predicts that by about 19 years. the doors are also manual, so this elevator predates the use of automatic doors on elevators. >> can we take a ride? >> absolutely. going down. >> how many troops do you think this elevator has taken in its lifetime? millions. >> yes, this one probably has. certainly hundreds of thousands. >> very smooth. >> it really does run smoothly. >> there we go. take some serious operation. there we go.
>> this is really beautiful. >> this is served by that old elevator we were just in. >> built at the same time, also in 1913. >> what a gorgeous room. i think we should have a party here. >> that is a great idea. >> let's look at the machine room for that old elevator. >> ok, let's go. >> here we are in the machine room with all these wonderful, old, a burly, industrial-era equipment. tell us what we've got here. >> this is really the beginning of a modern elevator. what we would describe as an overhead traction-geared elevator. that type of elevator still exists. even though this was made in 1913, elevators like this have continued to be manufactured up until the present day. >> so overhead means these cables attached to the top of the car. >> correct, exactly right. >> our hoist machine is located overhead, and this is a traction
machine, so it is an evolution beyond the winding from elevator. this is the drive ship. this is the gear box, and this is original from 1913. it is a heavy-duty design that we really do not see any more today. that is probably part of the reason why this elevator has already lasted close to 100 years. this is the break for the voice machine -- teh brake. >> we have the original controller here. fortunately, the power is turned off. >> this room was built in 1913, but the national elevator cut actually was not introduced until 1921. >> tell us about this antique controller. what makes it different from a modern controller? >> the elevator is running on the original d.c. power. really simple in operation. does not include a lot of the features we would have in an
elevator today, automatic door operation, dispatching, push button operation. none of those features are present, but this is the original from 1913. on this side, we have all the relays that actually control the elevator. the safety service -- city circuit, position, speed, and control of the power to the motor. >> here is a really interesting piece of historic machinery. tell us about this. >> this is one of the main safety devices of the elevator system, and the device still exists today even on modern elevators. it detects if the elevator is going into unsafe over speed conditions. it is attached to the road itself, and the car over speeds, bees fly balls would come out, and the governor jobs would come out and grab on to the governor wrote, which would hold the break or the safety on the elevator to cause it to stop. >> if you have problems, i see
right here, we call garfield 7171 for service. member that is right. operators standing by. >> from here, we are going to look at those wonderful elevators that go of the outside of the high rise building that everyone wants to take a ride in. >> let's go do that. >> here we are in the most exciting elevator in the city of san francisco. this is the outside elevator that goes into the 32nd floor. tell us about this. >> we are in one of the tower elevators now. these were originally installed in 1972. 1,000 feet a minute, outside observation elevators, so a great view of the city. some of the most popular elevators in san francisco, as you mentioned, and these cars run a lot. they run about 2000 starts per day. about 700,000 starts per year for an elevator like this, and
these are pretty hard working. >> must be hard to maintain these elevators. mechanical devices in the rain. >> this is much more difficult to maintain. normal elevator installation is all sealed from the elements, but in this case, it is all exposed to the outside, so there are issues with whether proofing and sealing the equipment from the elements. >> the controls and motors are up here on the top floor. >> very simple -- similar to the elevators we looked at. this is similar to that technology. >> i saw a crowd of people downstairs waiting to take a ride on the elevated to get this fabulous view. that is a terrific view. >> yes, it is great. >> can you tell us about the history of the modern elevators?
>> what we consider the modern elevator is the elevator with a safety device that was built in new york in 1853 in response to a freight elevator accident in new york city. until that time, elevators were quite common in buildings but typically used just for handling freight. elisha otis -- elijah otis successfully demonstrated the safety device he had created. even of the elevator and he cut the device, and he did not fall. everyone was impressed by that. in 1857, the oldest brother's company installed their first passenger elevator on broadway in new york. believe it or not, many of those first elevators were actually started and stopped by a hand broke. >> what drove those old elevators? what was their motive power?
>> in some cases, they might have even been hp. >> and then changed to electric? >> electric cited to come in the 1890's, and that was around the time when the elevator stopped from material handling and started to be used more frequently for passengers. in 1878, there was a demonstration of the other thing that allowed architects to build taller buildings was the advent of a higher quality steel manufacturing. in 19003, the first production year track models were introduced, that it was when things took off. >> that mostly happened in new york city? >> lower manhattan was the first place that took off, then chicago. those early passenger elevators
always had an attendant that would take a passenger's request and then operate the car. the big change was the emergence of a electric elevators. starting in 1880, the electric elevator allowed building dollars to go much higher. we evolved from steam hydraulic elevators to the electric elevators that are not that much different from what we are going to see now at the top of the tower. this is the steam room on the top of the state st. francis. -- on top of the state francis. the equipment you see painted green, that is all the original equipment from 1972. we are just now in the middle of modernizing this equipment. >> why modernize? doesn't the equipment works fine? >> it does, it is of analog and
intensive, and there are some additional controls. let me introduce the foreman to you. this is vince. he can do a better job explaining the project details. >> what is happening here, what are you doing? >> we are doing a major modernization. we are tearing out the old system, logic controls, and generator controls, and we will be going over to solid state. this is not your standard selector. it does not have a tape that runs it. because these are outside elevators -- these are unique to the city. >> and this is going away with the upgrade. >> that is right. none of these will be here.
we have retrofitted three elevators so far and now we're doing the outside cars. >> so this is what will be replacing -- >> this will be replacing the generator controller and control system. we are down to about 15 or 20 relays, down from about 100, which means much less maintenance. this thing had been running for about six months now, but we still have eight cars here to do. >> great job. >> we have looked at past the elevators and present. now let's look at the future.
we are taking a look at some of the most exciting technologies in elevators. george, tell us about destination elevators. >> this is the technology of the future. probably the biggest single investment in elevators. san francisco has embraced the technology more than any other city in the country. a big advantage with us is passengers get to their floors sooner and there is more opportunity of customization of features for individual service. four issues of security and accessibility, this is a big advantage over traditional elevators. digest i understand these are rehabilitated upgrades of existing elevators? >> yes, these are upgrades to the original elevators from 1980. all the controls and wiring has changed but the physical
mechanisms are the same. >> how much energy to these use? >> with all of the things that we did hear, energy savings is about 50% from where we started. that is a significant improvement for such a major system. >> tell me how it works. >> this is the hall keypad, which controls the elevator. the system asks where you are going before you get into the elevator. imagine you are going into the airport. you would not get on the first airplane departing, you would get on the airplane that is going to the city you are going. we are doing the same here. in this case, we are going to the ninth floor. this building has security, so i also have an access card, which
gives us permission, and then we go to the assigned elevator, which is elevator a. >> and this is only stopping at floors 4 and 9. i do not see any buttons in here at all, except for the door and the alarm. >> we only have the standard buttons required by code and safety, but there is no need to have floor numbers anymore. >> and it does not make a lot of stops. it goes to your floor and everyone else. >> the system it efficiency, because we do not have to make as many stops, is a big improvement. >> we have invited jessie from the center for independent living to come and tell us how
destination elevators interfaced with persons with disabilities. >> when destination elevators storfirst started appearing, thy presented a number of challenges to individuals with disabilities. what happened was, elevator technology outpaced california building code. building code has a number a provision that makes traditional elevators usable by people with disabilities, but destination elevators presented challenges, particularly with cited. how do you know to get from this keypad to your our corporate car? >> we had a terrific program where we develop and administer the bulletin, which your help, elevator companies, involvement from the public, and you can tell us the outcome of that. >> what is amazing about the process is we had both government and private industry, as well as people with
disabilities at the table for three years creating these accessibility standards. what we are doing here is being looked at by the department of justice access board and state architect's office. that is how good our standards are. would you like to see? i am going to push the access key which will activate the voice. i want to go to floor 24. ok, to the left. >> elevator j has arrived. >> that was smooth. >> i am getting a text message. it is amazing, these destination elevators. pretty soon, the signal that changes the system will be able to be routed through blue tooth and your phone, which is
amazing. my iphone will be able to access the controls. in paris already, they are rounding the pedestrian signals through blue tooth and into people's phones. so the future is really exciting and technology will make it quite a journey for everybody. >> thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> so now i would like to introduce the chief engineer. can you tell us about your experience? >> there were a lot of
anticipation about how people would respond. at first, we had to get in front of people to direct them from their habits. early morning, they are more into carrying their coffee and going inside of the elevator and then spilling their coffee to hit the keys. we got right in front of them, stopped them and told them exactly what they had to do. that helped out a lot. the other thing that helped were the lights in the lobby would tell them where the elevator was. a lot of these systems have not done that. we were the first to do that. the nice thing is we've got less spills in the lobby, too. you get into the elevator in the morning, and somebody is standing in front of the buttons and you cannot get to it. people are fighting each other, spilling coffee and stuff, so this works out well.
control. there are two groups here. in case one fails. there is automatic redundancy. each of these cables connect to each device and communicates with the main global server. the previous equipment was a relay control, and it was analog logic. this has many advantages in that it can be custom program to and can readjust to changes. it can do a multitude of things, like the lights blinking in the lobby. those are all programs that can be controlled by this equipment. before, this room was filled relay panels collect -- that clicked.
they had had a big rotator that told the person or the elevator was. we can level these cars with an 1 millimeter. it used to vary on the temperature by up to half an inch. that caused tripping hazards. now you walk out and it is a smooth transition. it is important for the disabled as well. over here is the controller. but this does is it provides information to the elevator where to go. receives commands from within the elevator and from the destination dispatched central -- dispatched central. these elevators are precisely the electronic breaks, so they need to be very precise. in accordance with the vfd to supply power to the elevator motor, which is right here. these are original d.c. drives.
d.c. was in place at the beginning of elevators. it was easier to control. currently, new elevators are ac drives. but they are so expensive to replace and waste of materials. we have made it more efficient by providing aid to the electrical system to drive it. this is controlled by the same transistor that controls the toyota prius. when the elevator is empty, the counterweight polls the elevator and it generates electricity by breaking. the same thing as in your toyota creosote or another hybrid car. -- prius or another hybrid car. here inside we have the ibtv drive.
this is important for landing of the elevator. also, acceleration and deceleration, if there is instability in a car, can be reduced. >> so we have taken a ride in an antique elevator. >> this was an elevator built in 1913. >> we have checked out current elevator technology. >> these were installed in 1972, outside observation elevators. >> it is not standard because there is no tape that runs it. but shane we have seen the future of the elevator technology. >> i am going to push the access key which will access the voice. >> this has precise generation of power, which is important
for highly acrilan the landing of the elevator. >> what happens next week and not know but it will be exciting. thank you for showing us this interesting technology. >> >> we are here at j.c. plumbing. you are going to show was plumbing fixtures. >> yes, we are. very excited to have you. >> let's look at fixtures and faucets and accessories. it is going to be very exciting here. please join us for "bluilding sf." joining janessa and i today is andre. thanks for coming. we have hame